Newcastle not looking to make big January moves

The Northern Echo: KEY PERFORMER: Midfielder Moussa Sissoko arrived in January KEY PERFORMER: Midfielder Moussa Sissoko arrived in January

ALAN PARDEW insists Newcastle United are in a position of strength and there is no need to repeat last January’s spending spree when the transfer window opens on New Year’s Day.

The Magpies sit four points shy of fifth spot after earning a draw when Southampton travelled to Tyneside on Saturday and that is a far cry from the struggles of last season.

Newcastle’s domestic form suffered because of the run to the latter stages of the Europa League and that prompted moves in to the transfer market when it opened at the turn of the year.

After Mathieu Debuchy arrived in a £5m deal from Lille early in January, Newcastle then spent a further £10m-plus on Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoan Gouffran, Massadio Haidara and Moussa Sissoko.

Those five players have become key members of the Newcastle squad and have helped Pardew’s team to climb to within touching distance of the European places this season.

Newcastle are looking at their options on the transfer front ahead of the opening of the window on January 1, but Pardew insists the club will not be rushing in to anything for the sake of it.

The Newcastle boss said: “I think we can be very calculated in this window. If you are in a good position, there is no need to rush anything.

“In the corresponding window last year, we really needed to do some business and when you need to do business, I think it is a difficult window.

“When you don’t need to do business, which perhaps you can argue we don’t, then maybe you can look at it in a more calculated manner.”

Newcastle were linked with a move for Fulham’s Dimitar Berbatov over the weekend and there have been further reports from Greece claiming significant interest in Olympiakos striker Konstantinos Mitroglou.

But Newcastle’s director of football Joe Kinnear explained over the weekend how he intends to improve the club’s academy system above other things. Kinnear suggested he wants a drive towards bringing in better local talent on the back of handing young left-back Paul Dummett a new contract.

There will not be any specific push for more first team recruits next month, but Pardew is keen to see the players he already has at his disposal move forward and improve on an impressive first half of the season.

Pardew said: “The last ten games have proven our consistency, that we’re a good side.

“Whether we can be a great side, we will have to wait and see. We already have one more point than we did in the season when we finished fifth two years ago, so we’re in good shape.”

Since Newcastle lost at Sunderland on October 27, Pardew has seen the same set of players climb up the Premier League table after a solid run of form.

They head to Crystal Palace this Saturday on the back of just one defeat in seven league matches and five of those have all ended in victories.

The return of Yohan Cabaye after a one-match ban will present the manager with a selection dilemma. Vurnon Anita was effective alongside Cheik Tiote in the middle against Southampton and would not expect to be left out.

But Cabaye will also expect to play. Anita said: “It is up to the coach to decide. It is a tough decision for him. Everybody will get a chance and it is good for the team.

“We have a good team and it is hard to come in to it. If you come in you must do well. It is competitive but it brings the team to a higher level.”


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